Minke Whale Species

There are a few different minke whale species.

are baleen whales that belong to the group of rorquals.

They are some of the smallest baleen whales, dark gray in color, and they like to live out in the open oceans. They were too small to be interesting to hunt in the old whaling days. These are the whales that are hunted today.

Northern Species

Minke Whales, Ummannaq, Greenland, Polar Regions
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The northern, aka Common species (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) is smaller than the southern Antarctic species. It is one of the smallest of baleen whales but they can still be up to 10 meters long and weigh up to 10 tonnes. The northern species is also known for its white markings on the flippers. They are curious whales and like people-watching. Some places to watch them are Husavik in Iceland, Cork in Ireland and the Isle of Mull in Scotland. Norwegians are still whaling those whales today.

Southern Species

Minke Whale, Underwater, Queensland
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The individuals of the southern or Antarctic species Balaenoptera bonaerensis are slightly larger, lack the white markings on their flippers and are found in southern oceans as opposed to the northern species' northern range. During the summer they are close to Antarctica, while during the winter they move fiurther north where they share the habitat with Dwarf Minke. Japanese are still whaling those whales today, under an ugly cover of "research whaling".

Dwarf Minke Whales

Dwarf Minke Whale, Ribbon Reefs, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia
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These small whales are actually a dwarf form of the nothern species of Minke Whales. The two, however, live in isolation - Dwarf minke whales are found in the Southern Hemisphere, between about 10 and 60 degrees latirudes. This overlaps partly with the southern, Antarctic minkes that are found between about 60 degrees in the Southern Hemisphere and 10 degrees in the Northern Hemisphere - just north of the Equator.

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